Sam’s curiosity about his own physiology led him to pursue a degree in Exercise Biology from the University of California, Davis.  He continues to race on the Herbalife 24 p/b Marc Pro-Nature’s Bakery Elite Cycling Team and is excited to leverage his experience and educational background to help cyclists of all levels get stronger and faster.

This summer I spent approximately 8,000 miles driving in a Ford E350 econoline van with barely working A/C, that was full of smelly bike racers, wheels, fig bars, suitcases, dirty pillows and other miscellaneous junk.

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We loaded or unloaded bikes on this van upwards of 90 times on these trips…

We drove from the bay area to Tulsa Oklahoma, Minneapolis Minnesota, Milwaukee Wisconsin and back to the bay area. After less than a week at home we then drove to Vancouver BC, then to Bend Oregon. In total, I had right around 30 days of racing in 7 weeks at Tulsa Tough, North Star Grand Prix, Tour of America’s Dairyland, BC Super week, and the Cascade Cycling Classic.

Surround Yourself With Positive People

The monotony of spending days on end driving in a van can be enough to crack the most seasoned traveler. Although I have spent a lot of time traveling for races, I had never been on a road trip of this magnitude. One thing I learned is that having positive teammates can have a huge impact on my perception of a trip. Just as a negative person can infect an entire group of people with their bad mood, a positive person can have the exact opposite effect.

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Willie gives two thumbs up for flat tires

Whether we were staying in crummy, dirt cheap motels or changing a blowout on the side of Highway 80, we never ceased to make light of the situation as a group.  Even during the low points in the trip, like when three of us got sick during TOAD on the same day, we managed to keep it together and keep moving forward.

Fishing Is Better Than Riding, Sometimes

On this trip I also learned of the location of some incredible bass fishing.  A small private lake in Corydon Iowa is stocked to the brim with hungry bass.  On our way up to Minnesota we stopped at our teammate’s uncles house for a good nights sleep and some fishing.

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This private lake holds a well kept secret

Taking the time to get out on the lake, skip a day of riding, and just have some non bike related fun was a huge morale boost.  If you ask Matt, who is an avid bass fisherman, about the best day of fishing he has experienced in his life, this is the day he will tell you about.

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We had no idea how many fish we were about to catch

Travel is Always Worth It

This summer of road tripping was one that I will look back on with good memories.  Despite the insane amount of time spent driving, the ups and downs of racing, the dirty hotel rooms, and getting sick at the end of the trip, I had an awesome time.

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Sam Bassetti
Associate Coach
Data Driven Athlete

Written by Sam Bassetti

Sam has been racing at the Junior, U23, Elite and Professional levels in the U.S. and Internationally since 2009. Relying on his experience and his degree in Exercise Biology, he currently coaches and trains cyclists for Data Drive Athlete and the Team Swift Junior Development Team out of Santa Rosa, CA.